Financial Support

Student Financial Support 

We’re delighted you’re thinking of joining Dudley College for your studies. We wanted to tell you more about the types of financial support you may be able to receive, depending on your personal circumstances. 

Financial Support for 16-18

If you’re aged 16-18 then your course will be free to study.  

16-18 Bursary Funding for Vulnerable Young People 

This is specifically for Learners who have been defined as ‘vulnerable Learners’. Eligible learners will also be allocated travel support. 

Please note looked after children and some care leavers are not eligible for Free meals. 

You can only apply for a Vulnerable Bursary of up to £1200 if you are in one of the groups that have been defined by the Government as being a ‘vulnerable group of Learners’ and meet the eligibility criteria. This includes young people who are living apart from their parents and are: 

  • Looked after (in care) or have recently left care (Care Order in force) 
  • A care leaver 
  • In receipt of Income Support (or Universal Credit) in their own right (not their parents) 
  • Disabled and in receipt of both Employment & Support Allowance (Universal Credit) and Disability Living Allowance (Personal Independence Payments) in their own right (not their parents) 
  • Have caring responsivities for a child and are living independently from their parents – have a tenancy agreement in their own name. You will need to provide up to date evidence to confirm receipt of your Benefit, plus a tenancy agreement in your own name ~ or a recent letter from Social Services confirming your care status. 

16-18 Travel Support Bursary 

  • All full time 16/18-year-old learners will be issued with an electronic* West Midlands Travel bus pass for term 1 to help with the transition to college.  The bus pass will be issued to a mobile device. To receive the bus pass learners should install the Travel West Midlands Mticket app on their phone and create an account within the app using their college email address, all college email addresses start with a learner number (for example 00123456) followed by
  • The app needs to be on the learner’s phone not a parents or guardians. Links for the app are as follows:
    1. Android Phones 
    2. iPhone and iOS 
  • Continuing travel support for terms 2 and 3 is confirmed once a 16/18 bursary application is submitted with household income evidence, so an income assessment can be carried out.

*Learners who do not have access to a smartphone should contact the student finance team at  or can call to speak to a member of the team on 01384 363 555 about alternative bus pass types.

Free College Meals

Free meals at college are slightly different to free meals at school as there is an eligibility criteria linked to household income.   This can mean learners may not be eligible for a free meal at college even if they received a free meal at school. There are two type of free meal schemes:

Government free college meals

To be eligible for free meals learners must:

  • Be aged between 16 and 18 years on 31 August 2023 or
  • Be aged over 19 who are continuing the same study programme (19+ continuers) you started before you turned 19 or
  • Be aged over 19 and have a valid Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

In addition to the above, learners or their parents must be receipt of one or more of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • The guarantee element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit (provided they are not entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190, as assessed by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC))
  • Universal Credit with net earnings not exceeding the equivalent of £7,400 per annum
College Discretionary free meals

To be eligible for college free meals you must:

  • Be aged between 16 and 18 years on 31 August 2023 or
  • Be aged over 19 who are continuing the same study programme (19+ continuers) you started before you turned 19 or
  • Have a total household income of below £35,000 per annum – this will be determined by a full income assessment carried out by the student finance team at Dudley college of Technology
How do learners access their free meal

The free meals system here at college is a cashless electronic system embedded into learner ID badges.   Eligible learners receive a credit of £5.00 for each of their timetabled days, the credit can be redeemed at any of Dudley College food outlets easily by presenting an eligible ID badge at the till.  The free meals credit is refreshed each timetabled day, any credit left on the card at the end of the college day is removed, so each new day starts with the full £5.00 entitlement – this system will not allow learners to build up credit over a period of days.

How do Learners apply for free meals

Learners wishing to apply for free college meals should complete a 16/18 bursary application form and submit the form along with support income evidence to the student finance team so an assessment can be made.   Application submitted without necessary evidence cannot be processed.

All bursary and hardship fund forms are available to college learners via the MyDudleyCollege Learner Services dashboard, alternatively a direct link can be emailed to learners. Link requests should be emailed to the student finance team at

Care To Learn

The Care to Learn scheme can help with childcare costs while studying. Learners must be aged under 20 at the start of their course. Learners can get up to £160 per child per week.

To be eligible for Care to Learn the Learner must be:

  • a parent under 20 at the start of their course
  • is the main carer for a child
  • live in England
  • is a British citizen or have a legal right to live and study in England
  • is enrolled on a qualifying course
  • Their childcare provider qualifies – To qualify a childcare provider must be ofsted registered and can be a childminder, preschool playgroup, day nursery or out of school club.

Claiming Care to Learn will not affect your family’s benefits or allowances.

Learners can apply for Care to Learn via this link: Apply online for Care to Learn.

Financial Support for Adults (19+)

Free* Courses

To be eligible for the free* adult courses you need to be aged 19 or over and live in the West Midlands Combined Authority area.

English & Maths: If you are aged 19 or over and have not previously achieved GCSE grade C or above in English and/or maths, you can study for free.

Course level and fees

Students aged 19 and over are usually subsidised by the Government for most qualifications up to a level 3. Students are expected to pay the fee published which relates to their age. 

Students who are aged 19 years and over wanting to enrol on an additional level 3 course are not funded by the Government and consequently are expected to pay the fee listed.  These students can either pay fees themselves or apply for a Government Advanced Learner Loan to pay for tuition fees. 

For further information and an explanation of fees and funding please contact Student Services on 01384 363 363

Course Type19-23 Years of Age24 Years of Age +
Employed Unemployed on active benefits JSA/ESA WRAG or Universal Credit or wider offer undertaking skills training EmployedUnemployed on active benefits JSA/ESA WRAG or Universal Credit or wider offer undertaking skills training 
English & Maths Adult Basic Skills up to Level 2 FREE FREE FREE FREE 
ESOL Listed fee payable FREE Listed fee payable FREE 
Progression funding Entry Level /Level 1 excl. S4L without a L2 FREE FREE Listed fee payable FREE 
First full level 2 FREE FREE Listed fee payable FREE 
Additional full level 2 Listed fee payable FREE Listed fee payable FREE 
First full level 3 or above FREE FREE Apply for Advanced Learner Loan or pay listed fee 
Additional full level 3 Apply for Advanced Learner Loan or pay listed fee Apply for Advanced Learner Loan or pay listed fee Apply for Advanced Learner Loan or pay listed fee 

Higher Education HNC and HND courses fee are payable, regardless of a student’s age or circumstances.

Some courses listed are not fundable by the Government. Therefore, students are expected to pay these fees, regardless of age or circumstances. Adult learners may be eligible for reduced fees depending upon criteria such as your age, residency in England and any benefits being claimed. 

Please contact student services on 01384 363 363 to find out if you may be eligible for reduced fees. 

Learner Support Fund 

Dudley College of Technology has a Learner Support Fund for learners aged 19 and over. This provides means tested grants to help you with costs as a result of your studies. This can include support towards travel costs, books, equipment or stationery. 

For more details or advice on how financial support relates to you, please contact one of our specialist team at The Broadway who will be pleased to help you. 

Call  01384 363 555 or email 

Studying whilst claiming benefits 

A number of our courses offer discounts for those unemployed and/or on active benefits. If you are claiming discounted fees, you must be able to provide evidence of your eligibility.

19+ Discretionary Hardship Fund

The 19+ Bursary Fund is a means tested fund and is in place to help Dudley College Learners whose household income is below £40,000 per annum and may be experiencing financial hardship to complete their course. 

Funds are awarded to eligible Learners to help them cover the essential costs of attending College, such as transport, equipment and exam fees and childcare. 

The fund cannot help with tuition fees. 

To apply for help from the 19+ discretionary hardship fund please complete an application and a bank details form. 

To be eligible to receive the 19+ discretionary hardship fund Learners must: 

  • be 19 or over on 31st August 2022
  • be enrolled on a course that is approved for funding by the Education & Skills Funding Agency – we will check this before making any awards 
  • have ‘home’ Learner’s status, Pre settle or settle status, or have been granted full ‘refugee’ or ‘asylum seeker’ status (British Citizens normally have ‘home Learner’ status) 
  • have been ordinarily resident in the UK or EEA continuously for the last 3 years before the start of your course, with ‘settled’ status which means having indefinite leave to enter or remain 
  • not exceed the income threshold limit of £40,000 Joint income if living with spouse/partner and single applicant living independently. 

The following Learners are not eligible to apply: 

  • Learners on Higher Education Courses 
  • Learners on Work Based Learning/Waged Apprenticeships 
  • Learners aged 19-23 at the start of their course studying their 2nd level 3 programme unless they have applied for and been awarded an Advanced Learner Loan 
  • Learners aged under 19 on 31 August 2022- these Learners can apply to the 16-18 Bursary Fund 
  • Learners aged 24 and over studying a level 3 or above unless they have applied for and been awarded an Advanced Learner Loan 

Advanced Learner Loans

Learners who have found finances have been holding them back from starting a course, can now apply for a loan to help with the cost of course fees! Advanced Learner Loans help with the cost of fees for eligible courses at Level 3 or above. Household income isn’t taken into account and there’s no credit check. Learners will not have to pay anything back until they have finished their course and are earning over the Learner Loans company threshold. 

How much can you get as an Advanced Learner Loan? 

The amount awarded by Student Finance England depends on: 

  • the type of course 
  • how much the fees are for the course – the minimum loan is £300. 

Which courses are eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan? 

Courses at Level 3 or above qualify (such as a Certificate/Diploma or an Advanced or Higher Apprenticeship). 

To get a loan Learners must be: 

  • 19 or older on the first day they start a course and the start day of the course must be on or after the 1st August 2021 (there’s no upper age limit) 
  • living in the UK on the first day of their course, and have lived in the UK, the Channel islands or the Isle of Man for 3 years immediately before the start date of the course Studying at this College or a training organisation in England approved for public funding 
  • Learners who are aged 19 – 23 and do not already have a full Level 3 qualification, will be entitled to receive free tuition and won’t need to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan. Where learners are aged 19 – 23 and already have a full Level 3 qualification, they can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan. 

How many Advanced Learner Loans can a Learner apply for? 

Learners can apply for more than one Advanced Learning Loan (up to 4 in total). Learners can also receive a loan for courses of the same level and type (e.g. Level 3 Diploma in Hair and Level 3 Diploma in Barbering) and will be able to take out further loans to complete different types or levels of eligible courses. 

How to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan? 

  • Learners can apply for apply for an Advanced Learner Loan at Request the course code from our Learner finance team from June/July for courses starting in September.
  • Learners will need a National Insurance number before any money can be paid and should have this available to enter on the loan application form along with passport details or where no passport details can be given another form of identity to apply – e.g. birth certificate. 

Paying back an advanced learner loan: Learners pay back a loan (plus interest) when they have finished their course and start earning more than the Learner Loans Company income threshold. If income drops below this amount repayment will stop. Each month learners will pay back 9% of any income over the threshold. 

Leaving or changing a course once an advanced learner loan is approved: Learners who leave or change their course after 2 weeks will have to pay back any money that has been paid to the College. 

Access to Higher Education (HE) and an advanced learner loan: Learners who get a loan to cover tuition fees for an Access to HE course (e.g. a course that prepare learners for Higher Education) and then successfully complete a higher education course, will not have to repay the remaining loan for the Access course. 

Support for course related costs and childcare: Learners who take out an Advanced Learner Loan can assess the 19+ Discretionary hardship fund in the same way as our 19+ learners. 

For more details about Advanced Learning Loans please visit or contact the Learner Finance team on 01384 363 555

Childcare Support for Adults 

Adult learners over the age of 20 can apply for help with the cost of childcare to cover timetabled hours.

An OFSTED registered childcare provider must be used and no support can be offered for informal or unregistered childcare. Childcare funding will be for agreed hours/costs only and is capped at £50 per child per day, where a childcare provider charges above the capped rate, the learner is expected to pay the difference and Dudley College reserve the right not to meet the costs of retainer fees when said fees are deemed to be too high.

Please note: where a child is aged 3 or 4 at the start of the 2022/23 academic year or turns 3 during the year they will be eligible for Nursery Education Funding (NEF) this entitles eligible children to 15 hours of free nursery education, this also relates to some 2 year olds who may be eligible for the government scheme called Time for Twos, these 15 hours must be used to cover the learner’s childcare needs in the first instance whilst at college. Where the 15 hours is not sufficient to cover all timetabled lessons Dudley college may fund a small “top up”.

Learners who are under the age of 20 at the start of the academic year can apply for another government scheme called care2learn, please speak to a member of the Learner finance team on 01384 363 555 for further information.

Learners should not begin using a childcare provider before confirmation of eligibility from Dudley College is confirmed as any fees incurred with be the learners responsibly.

All bursary and hardship fund forms are available to Dudley College learners via the MyDudleyCollege Learner Services dashboard, alternatively a direct link can be emailed to learners. Link requests should be emailed to the student finance team at

Higher Education Loans

How to apply for funding from Student Finance England

Learners wishing to enrol on a Higher Education course here at Dudley college may be able to borrow money to help pay for college tuition fees and to help with living costs.

Learners might get extra money on top of this, for example if on a low income, or are disabled or have children.

Most full-time and part-time students can apply online to Student Finance England and then complete the following steps:

  1. Set up a student finance online account.
  2. Log in and complete the online application.
  3. Include your household income if needed. Learners parent or partner will be asked to confirm these details.
  4. Send in proof of identity, if needed.

Where learners cannot apply online, they can call Student Finance England for support.

Please visit for further information or make an appointment with a member of the student finance team at Dudley College for further support.

Prices, Payments & Refunds 

Paying for your course

All of our course fees included on this website are the amount payable at enrolment. However, on some courses there may be an additional fee to cover materials or examinations fees. If so, you will be advised of these at enrolment. You can pay your course fees by cash, cheque, debit or credit card. 

All cheques should be made payable to Dudley College of Technology. If your employer is paying your fees you should bring a letter stating this fact when you come to enrol. 

You will need to bring the following documents with you to enrolment:  

  • A form of ID such as a driving licence or passport 
  • Benefit/household income documents if you are applying for financial support or asking for a fee concession 
  • Exam certificates or exam entry slips if your course requires evidence of a previous qualification 
  • The means to make the payment i.e cash or card (if applicable). 

If you have not lived in the UK for the last three years we will need to see supporting documentation confirming you are eligible for funding. 

If you are an Asylum Seeker, Refugee or have a Study Visa or any other Visa type covering your time in the UK please bring this documentation with you when you enrol. 

Course prices

As our course prices are related to Government Funding, there may be changes to costs and eligibility. You will be told the most recent course prices at enrolment. We would not normally expect our published price to vary but, if they do, please be aware that any price amendments are out of our control and the published price is an indicative price. Where the duration of the course exceeds one year, only the first year fee is shown.


No refunds will be given for courses of 12 weeks duration or less. Refunds of course tuition fees of more than 12 weeks will only be given in the following circumstances: 

  • Where Dudley College of Technology cancels a course 
  • When the learner withdraws from a course within the first three weeks of the start date (although an administration fee will be charged). 
  • All other requests for fee refunds will be considered in exceptional circumstances and will be at the discretion of the Vice Principal of Finance. 

Please note: Dudley College of Technology reserves the right to cancel any course that does not meet the minimum learner numbers. If this is necessary, all learners will be notified in writing. 

Paying by instalments 

You can pay by instalments if your course fee is above £200. This includes any remaining balance if part of your course fee is being paid for by your employer. 

The full cost for short courses of 10-12 weeks in duration must be payable by two concurrent instalments. 

Please see the chart below for payment schedules: 

Total course feeNo. of instalments
£200 – £299 
£300 – £399 
£400 – £499 
£500 – £599 
£600 – £699 
£700 – £799 
£800 – £899 
£900 – £999 
£1,000 and above 10 

All learners paying in instalments must first complete an Instalment Agreement. 

The first payment must be paid at enrolment by cash, debit/credit card or cheque. The remaining instalments can either be paid directly into the college bank account (details of which will be given at enrolment) or by calling the Finance Office. 

Unfortunately, we do not currently allow direct debits. We are looking to put in place an online payment gateway soon. 

All instalment plans must be paid one month prior to the course end date. Where course fees remain outstanding the college maintains the right to recover any debts and to withhold certification until all debts are paid. 

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